Local News

Prom-Goers Plan Alternatives to Alcohol

Posted April 30, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— Since many students will be taking to the streets for prom nights over the next few weeks, some schools are trying different events to make sure their students will not drink and drive this year. One Edgecombe County school has called on the grim reaper to remind students about the deadly consequences of drunk driving.

At Southwest Edgecombe High, 40 students have volunteered participate in Grim Reaper Day, wearing black, spending an entire school day without talking, and carrying paper tombstones that read 'rest in peace'. The symbolism is frightening, but school officials say it should be. Nationally, about 170 students die during prom week from alcohol-related accidents.

Student Toria Armstrong says the ghastly symbol sends a serious message.

It did happen to student Scott Fleming in January of 1996. He was hit by a drunk driver and is still scarred, and scared, from the accident. Fleming says he wants to get the message across that a deadly accident can happen to anyone.

Fleming has taken an active role as president of Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD), one of the groups responsible for Grim Reaper Day.

Southwest Edgecombe High's prom is scheduled for this Saturday. Grim Reaper Day organizer Denice Tompkins says this sinister reminder could save a life.

Grim Reaper Day is part of a series of events held this month to discourage students from drinking and driving, not just on prom night, but every night.